Engines, whether for automobiles or for aircraft, are powerful but delicate pieces of machinery. They have to be properly supported and attached securely to the frame of the vehicle. In the case of both automobiles and aircraft, the engines are supported by engine mounts.
Engine mounts are structures made of welded steel tubing that secure the engine to the frame of the vehicle and absorb engine vibrations. In aircraft, the mounts are constructed in one or more sections that incorporate the engine mount ring, bracing members, and fittings for attaching the mount to the wing nacelle. They’re also secured with specially heat-treated steel bolts that support the weight of the engine and the stresses imposed by the engine and propeller during flight.
The section of the engine mount where the engine is attached is the engine mount ring. Typically made of steel tubing in a large circular shape, the mount ring surrounds the engine. Dynafocal mounts, angled towards the engine’s center of gravity, attach the engine to the mount ring. The dynafocal mounts also serve as vibration isolators and give directional support to the engines.
Engine mounts also include rubber and steel suspension units called shock mounts. Because aircraft engines have been getting bigger to be more efficient and produce more power, the vibrations they produce have also become stronger. This led to the development of shock mounts, they restrict engine movement in all directions to limit the vibrations which can damage the aircraft if left unchecked and unrestrained. Shock mounts are usually arranged such that, under normal conditions, the engine is solely supported by the rubber.
In addition to shock mounts, aircraft engines also have other vibration isolators made of a resilient material enclosed in a metal case. When the engine vibrates, the resilient material absorbs the vibration and deforms slightly, dampening the vibrations before they reach or damage the rest of the airplane structure.
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